New food pantry opens in Region 8

By Brandi Hodges - bio | email

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - There are thousands of people live in poverty who live in Region 8.  Every day they struggle to get food on their tables.  Now there is a new "source" for help.  A house that sits right next to the First United Methodist Church in Paragould was donated to the church last year.  Those with the church wanted to use the house to serve the community.  Out of that idea the Witt House was born.  The doors opened back in march and since then those in need have poured in.

"It makes us know there is a need, there is a great need, and we are helping to fill that need," said volunteer Jame Cook.

There are already several places in Greene County where needy people can get food.  Those at the Witt House hope they will serve as another way to feed families.

"It's overwhelming to hear the stories of the people and why it is that they've found themselves in a state of need," said First United Methodist Church Associate Pastor Angie Gage.

Librada Pretty said the Witt House is helping her take care of her family.

"They just make you feel real comfortable.  They give you free things," said Pretty.

"It has really helped me and my grandbabies," said Wanda Mae Holt.

Gage said every month an anonymous donor provides bread and a church member donates money for milk.  So far their shelves haven't been close to empty.

"It's very emotional to see the folks as they walk in and hear their stories and realize that most of us in the United States are one paycheck away from being the ones who are in need," said Gage.

The pantry is only open to residents of Greene County.  Those who come in fill out paperwork to qualify, after that they can come in for food once a month.

Coming to the Witt House is more like going to the grocery store.  Families can come in and get a list that shows the items they have available.  The recipient can pick out what they want that way they make sure they get things their families will eat.

"It takes a lot for folks to be able to walk in and ask for help.  One way to help them restore their sense of dignity is to give them the choice," said Gage.

There is also a "boy scout" closet inside the Witt House to provide uniforms for those members who cannot afford one.  They also accept furniture donations.

The Witt House is open on Tuesday's from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. and on Friday's from 10 a.m. until noon.

If you would like to help out you can contact Gage at the church at 870-239-8541.

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